Eight Dates Challenge – Week One – Trust and Commitment

It almost never fails that when Joella and I are introduced to new people and they find out that we are both Marriage and Family Therapists either one of two lines will follow. †Either, “You guys must have the perfect marriage… I bet you never fight.” †or “Wow, I bet you guys can really duke it out!” †This always highlights for me that we live under the impression that relationships are either “good” or “bad”. †That either partners get along,…

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Escape Rooms and Therapy

A friend recently told me about their experience trying out Bend Escape Room. In case you are not sure what I am talking about here†is a summary of the games growing popularity. I had two take aways from listening: One, people are genuinely interested in spending more time with other human beings. In a world with exponential growth in technology and a variety of ways to avoid human interactions, things like Escape Rooms, outdoor sports and recreation, therapy, coaching, and…

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Thanksgiving Guilt

Last year at this time I addressed boundaries and how to use them effectively to have a good holiday season. After giving a presentation to my community about boundaries and family of choice I heard a resounding theme. Guilt. It seemed the crowd had a great grasp on the concept of boundaries including how to use them and how to make them effective. The questions came as we shifted the focus to family of choice. Family of choice refers to those…

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When to seek Couples Therapy:

It can be difficult to tell when you need outside help in your relationship. Relationships go through phases just like people and sometimes the stress we feel is simply a point of growth. However, when the stress or issue begins to inhibit growth and linger, itís important to tend to the issue. Also if these behaviors or interactions occur for a long period of time or become primary ways of coping in the relationship they are red flags. You stop…

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Showing up for life†

The theme of my week has been the importance of showing up. In a world where with the click of a mouse and/or the swipe of a debit card we can send condolences, comfort, and pseudo connection I’ve been struck by the power of showing up. No one can read your mind and often our intentions are assumed by others. By showing up we communicate our thoughts and intent clearly.  Here are some ideas of how to show up in…

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Co-Couples Therapy

To be honest, I am just as surprised as you. There is a part of me that has been trained by our society to believe that there is no way something I enjoy so much could benefit the world. Isn’t work supposed to be dull and mundane? Long ago when I graduated with my masters degree in marriage and family therapy and Michael started his, we had hoped one day to work together. At that time, we thought working together…

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?Unified Couples

“One of the largest, strongest horses in the world is the Belgian draft horse. Competitions are held to see which horse can pull the most, and one Belgian can pull eight thousand pounds. The weird thing is if you put two Belgian horses in the harness who are strangers to each other, together they can pull twenty to twenty four thousand pounds. Two can pull not twice as much as one but three times as much as one. This example…

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bound∑a∑ry ?bound(?)r?/

In my field of work, sometimes words and phrases get a bit overused. Terms like “co-dependence” or even diagnoses like “bipolar” start to get used in society where they don’t apply. That overuse makes terms get distorted. The term’s meaning becomes part pop culture and part industry specific making them no longer the concise description they used to be. The term “boundaries” is one such word. I find in my practice, I hear more and more people describe that they…

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Listen to Understand

Some times therapy gets boiled down to simple tasks. I was reminded of this while taking voice lessons. My instructor continually pushes me to “stand up straight… but not too straight.” At first this felt so frustrating. Number 1; I felt often that I was standing up straight. Number 2; I understand it is important but sheesh, how much time can one really spend practicing something that should come naturally. In therapy, this shows up as discussing simple communication. It…

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Humanity

I recently listened to an episode of This American Life in which they were exploring the old adage, “you will understand when you are older.” In the final act, they are talking to a man in the early stages of dementia. He describes what it is like to go to his doctor and be asked questions like “Who is the president?” and “What day is it?” and worst of all, they ask him to draw a analog clock depicting a…

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